In March this year we took a trip to Budapest to experience its famous thermal baths and magnificent landmarks.
Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion
I had created an itinerary for the week so we didn’t miss any crucial aspects of Budapest. First on our list was Buda Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion.
Buda Castle (a.k.a The Royal Palace) was the home of the Hungarian Kings of Budapest. As many of Budapest’s monuments, you’re able to see the creative architectural work that went into building this grand palace. What I loved about this place was the fact that even though it’s a major tourist attraction, you weren’t bombarded with people which meant you could peacefully appreciate the city below without having to dodge someones selfie.
The Fisherman’s Bastion is perfect for a panoramic view of Budapest. The café that sits in the middle of the lookout tower is the ideal spot for sipping on a coffee and admiring the breathtaking view. This place had something magical about it and the lookout towers had a very fairy tale feel about them.
That evening we decided to try some authentic Hungarian food which included the delicious goulash with rice, cheese and spiced potatoes. This was a great way to end our first night in this majestic country.
Hero’s Square, Thermal Baths and a River Cruise
Hero’s Square plays a major part in Hungarian history and this is exactly why it’s such a popular sight with tourists. This also made it virtually impossible to take a decent photo!
We decided to go to the Gellert thermal baths where we relaxed for the afternoon. With 4 indoor pools ranging from 27°C to 40°C, I couldn’t make up my mind whether I was too cold or too hot, so we were continuously hopping from one end of the room to the other.
I was very proud of myself for braving the chilly 19°C pool (this was extortionately cold for me considering I have the heating on in the summer!). Unfortunately, there were ‘no camera’ signs plotted around the area which meant I was unable to take any photos, so you’ll have to visit for yourself to experience how wonderful it is!
That night we headed down to the river for our evening cruise which showed Budapest in all its glory. With all the key Hungarian landmarks lighting up the sky, the views were incredible.
I made sure there was at least one day where we didn’t have any plans so we were able to wonder the streets of Budapest and find the hidden gems of this intriguing city.
The first place we stumbled upon was Cafe Frei. This place was amazing, it had over 40 different types of coffee inspired by countries around the world. I had to stop myself from going back throughout the day to try out a few more of their tasty drinks. We tried the Bavarian Ice Coffee and Caramel Ginger Latte and they were lush. They have a café in London, so if you’re not going to Budapest anytime soon, then I definitely recommend going to this place in London as everything on the menu sounds so good! I know i’m rambling on about this place, but that’s because it was one of my favourite not-so-touristy places throughout the whole trip.
Once we’d finished our coffee, we were admiring the street art when we we could smell freshly cooked waffles which lead us to another unexpected treat. This wasn’t any old waffle house though, they also had the most beautiful cakes on display. Obviously I didn’t have time to take any photos of my food as I demolished it within 5 minutes.
That evening we discovered a little food market around the corner from where we were staying. This place had the most mouth watering cheese burgers I had ever tasted. The meat was replaced with hot, melted cheese with a coating of breadcrumbs, fried onions and tomatoes. They were so good that we went back again the next day, I don’t think I’ll ever come across a burger that’s as good as the ones made by Paneer!
We then made our way to Szimpla Kert, one of Budapest’s many quirky and popular ruin bars. This place was mega cool and fascinating, just take a look at the photos to see what I mean:
The Opera House, St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Parliament. Oh, and the Cat Café
As we didn’t have time to go for an actual tour of the opera house, we ended up admiring it from the outside and in the lobby. Even from the outside you could see how beautiful this building was. The detailed paintings and gold decor that covered the ceiling and walls made this place feel elegant and classy.
All the buildings that we went to see in Budapest were gorgeous. Every single one was individual and unique and that was made obvious when you were standing face to face with them.
And the next place we visited certainly didn’t let us down. Using Google Maps as our tour guide led us to getting lost and going around the same roads over and over again, but it was so worth it when we saw signs for a Cat Café. We were missing our little Mojo, so we needed our cat fix for the week! We decided that we were the cat whisperers of Budapest after the majority of cats took a seat on our table requesting a cuddle.
After stuffing ourselves with even more coffee and cake, we made our way to St. Stephen’s Basilica. To tell the story in a nutshell, King Stephen had died and his right hand was found and was brought back to Budapest. The bit I find a bit weird and creepy is that he died in 1038 and his hand is kept in a glass-like tomb in St. Stephen’s Basilica. People can pay for the tomb to light up, I on the other hand (no pun intended), waited for someone to put some money in so I could take a sneaky photo. The inside of this building was incredible, so I decided to step out of the room where everyone was admiring the hand, and instead, took in the beauty surrounding me.
We then took a quick trip to the Parliament which was stunning, just take a look below:
The Spa Hotel
We spent our last couple of nights in The Aquincum Hotel where we relaxed in three tranquil thermal pools during the afternoon and evening, the perfect way to end our busy but insightful holiday.
Overall rating of Budapest: An interesting city with lots to keep you busy for a few days. With food and drinks being on the cheap side, this is the perfect match if you’re looking for a city getaway on a budget. This is one of my favourite places I’ve visited due to the stunning interior of the buildings and the special charm of the city.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this, then check out my post about my exciting travels through Iceland.